Gary Neville has urged the Premier League to reject Arsenal’s request to postpone Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham.
The Gunners have asked for their crucial match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to be called off due to numerous first-team absentees.
Mikel Arteta is missing as many as 12 players due to Covid-19, injuries, suspensions and the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Spaniard is awaiting results of further Covid tests with the Premier League unlikely to make a decision until Saturday.
Manchester United legend Neville has slammed Arsenal’s request, insisting they are in a position to put a team together.
“I honestly believe that all teams, not just in the Premier League but the EFL now must be made to play their fixtures,” Neville said before Brighton’s match against Crystal Palace on Friday.
“[Folarin] Balogun’s gone on loan, [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles has gone on loan, [Granit] Xhaka’s got a red card – that’s not the fault of anybody else.
“We can’t be calling fixtures off. If it was purely down to Covid and extraordinary circumstances where there were 10 or 15 players out [it would be acceptable].
“But, we’re now talking about teams in the last few weeks where there’s no doubt they’ve been calling games off whether they think they’ve got the best squad or best team to win a game.”
Midfielder Granit Xhaka was given a straight red card in their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg at Liverpool on Thursday and will serve a two-match suspension.
Furthermore, Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka both suffered knocks during the 0-0 draw.